image taken from homemadelemoncake.blogspot.com
I love cooking. I rarely do so, and I've probably written about cooking more than I could remember... but I cook sometimes. I only cook for my family and the people I love, simple meals such as sandwiches, mostly homecooked meals like pasta, soup, veggies and such. I'm not big on presentation, and there are countless times of burnt things, overcooked onions, tasteless broth, lack of salt, and failed attempts.
Cooking is therapeutic. It also reminds me of people who cook for me are doing so out of love. My mom packs me lunch every day, and sometimes I forget how tiring it makes her and how I don't always appreciate it. The hours it takes me to cook up a meal or two makes me realize that it can be tedious and exhausting day after day. It becomes a routine, thinking up what to cook next, what fits with the ingredients on the fridge, what meals we'd like, what's healthy and what's a good occassional junk food, etc.
I've also had countless people criticize the meals I made. Some throw them away, when they do not realize how much love and time are thrown into the mix of what seems like inedible food. I've hold grudges against them, I've been sad, I've been angry, and I've expected to get something in return.
What I realize today is the simple joy of cooking. That I don't need compliments, I don't need to expect anything in return. I'm happy to see people eating the food I make and knowing that it makes them full, it makes them smile.
What I love the most is when my boyfriend, knowing how much effort I make into preparing him a packed meal, will eat every single grain without complaint, even though it might be too salty or lacking seasonings, and will thank me with a smile on his face when he finishes eating.
I gave out a batch of my first attempt at fried rice to someone else today. I've only seen my father do it, and he makes the best fried rice. It makes me feel proud, knowing that I've put my grudges behind me and that I've realized an important lesson.
Cooking is a lot like life. It's learning. It's giving. It's attempting to make things right by practicing. It requires balance, and knowing when to start, when to stop, when to add, and what to do next. It involves picking out the best ingredients you need, and throwing out the spoiled stuffs and the things that will ruin the taste of your food.
I might not be doing it often, but cooking is one thing I'll attempt from time to time, and learn from.